Editorial: Preeminent or Prominent?

What place does the Lord Jesus have in my affections and in my life? Does He occupy a place of prominence? Many of us content ourselves that we have given Christ a place of importance and significance in our lives, but is that the desire of the Spirit of God? Is this the place He deserves?

God’s intention is that “in all things He might have the preeminence” (Col 1:18, KJV).

A few verses earlier in the epistle, Paul prayed for the believers that they might be filled with the knowledge of His will (v9). After prayer turns to praise (vv12-14), he rises to one of the great mountain peaks of Christological truth. Atop the mountain, he surveys the canvas of divine intent and intervention. From the lofty crags of divine inspiration, he reveals to us the great purpose of God: “that in all things He might have preeminence.” In the cosmos, in the new creation, in the Church, among the civil governments of earth, and in the city of the Great King, He will have the preeminence.

It is not an exegetical leap to see that the will of God for the believer, for which he prayed in verse 9, is this very same truth. As in the cosmos, so in the individual Christian life, He wishes to be preeminent.

God is not content with His Son having a prominent place in my life; He must be preeminent. This means practically and on a day-to-day basis, every decision, every choice, and every aspect of my life must be determined by His lordship over my life. Each step should be taken with this one question as the “north star” in my thinking: Does this recognize Him as having all of me?

The remainder of Paul’s letter to the Colossians unpacks the great truth of lordship in all the various aspects of my life. Paul speaks of Christ being “all and in all” (Col 3:11, KJV). This means He is the ultimate standard for every relationship. He is everything in everything.

It will control assembly life and my relationship with other believers (3:12-17). I will seek to treat fellow saints with the same care and love which the Lord has for them. It will invade my home and control husband-wife relationships (3:18-19). The standard for my love to my wife is Christ and His love for His Church. The parental role will be similarly controlled (vv20-21), as will my work life (3:22-4:1). The fellowship, the family, and the factory all become one seamless, integrated life, lived with Christ preeminent in all.

Christ preeminent is not meant only for full-time workers, missionaries, and elders, but for each one of us redeemed by blood and owning Him as Lord and Savior. Prominent or Preeminent?